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How To Work From Home And Be Productive | Essential Tools and Tips Checklist

In this article I am going to share useful tips on how your business can quickly and successfully adopt technology and work remotely without a drop in output and company culture.

woman wearing mask working on a computer

-HOW DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CAN QUICKLY HELP YOUR REMOTE TEAM

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has initiated a work from a home movement that is intended to maintain output and efficiency which could also generate a pure panic among traditional companies that know nothing about remote work movement or culture. 

Working from home especially alongside our younger family members, in spaces never designed or adopted for remote work can be a real head-scratcher for many workers. 

Few things can help energize workers and maintain output while promoting efficiency: regular facetime meetings between leaders and teams, transparent schedules designed to mitigate family life and work, and automating most mundane tasks.

So how can you start working from home but maintain output and efficiency?

In this article, I am going to share useful tips on how your business can quickly and successfully adopt technology and work remotely without a drop in output and company culture. We have also put together a work from home starter kit checklist to get you up and running in less than 2 hours.

Get Your Technology Sorted Out

Technology is at the heart of you working remotely successfully. 

Make sure you have all your pc or laptop with all the necessary software but never ignore your charger. If you are a big fan of using a mouse remember to bring it home with you: a mouse pad won’t hurt.

Before bringing all your gadgets home make sure everything is working. The first thing to think about is login credentials, coming from an IT background at a large oil and gas company login problems were always filling up the ticket system.

With the nature of your work, you might need a secure line so make sure to have sorted out with your IT department. When it comes to software you need to ask yourself if they can be accessed through the web (Web Applications or SaaS) or have to be locally installed. You need to make sure you are on the same page as your IT department.

laptop on a computer desk

Reliable Internet Connectivity

You will need a reliable internet connection to be able to accomplish many of your tasks like running heavy graphic programs or online video meetings.  If your bandwidth is not strong and you are on a video meeting you are most likely going to encounter latency issues. Some of the immediate things you can do to lighten the load are to make sure no one else is not on the internet (check those kids) but most of the video conferencing tools give you the power to shut off the video potion and just stay on audio-only. 

You won’t enjoy the option of seeing your co-workers or clients but will at least stay in the conversation.

Project Management and Task Scheduling Software

In fast-moving companies, the average employee is likely associated with multiple projects and needs to stay on top of that ever-changing to-do list.

For any remote team to be successful you will need a way to track your progress around the deliverables. Several tools can be used for tracking projects including Asana, Trello, ClickUp, Zoho Projects, and Monday to mention a few. 

All these are SaaS tools also known as service-as-a software that allows you to use the software without downloading to your computer, it uses cloud computing technology.

Best Productivity Software For Companies

Working remotely calls for more deliberate efforts around productivity. 

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a productivity software that tracks user computer usage in real-time. It takes a screenshot every 3 minutes as a way to confirm employees are working. 

It improves productivity by removing multitasking and distractions and preventing wasted time.

It has other features like payroll and GPS tracking.

Rescue Time

The individuals who will do well and enjoy higher levels of productivity in the future are the ones that master the 80-20 concept known as Pareto principle which states that 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the inputs.

One of the apps in the productivity space that stands out is Rescue Time, it automatically tracks and categorizes websites, apps, and projects then gauges my daily productivity. 

Using their productivity pulse feature I get a daily focus snapshot which allows me to optimize my daily schedule for deep work.

Here are some of the features of Rescue Time

  1. Unlimited Historical Data
  2. Productivity Pulse
  3. Integrates with other apps
  4. Individual and company plans
  5. Team-level insights to make your company more productive
  6. Total control over what apps and sites get tracked and when
  7. Works across platforms like macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS

Communication

To have a successful remote team you need to have a reliable communication channel for customer-facing and internal. 

To keep employee morale high and engaged make sure to involve video communication using tools like zoom, skype, and google hangouts.

Also, consider instant communication tools like slack which allows you to have different communication channels for different teams or projects. 

How to accept payments working from home

As business owners, we need the ability to accept payments securely and fast so a payment gateway is of the highest order.

You should consider payment solutions that offer real-time tracking, analytics, estimates, recurring billing, invoicing, ACH, and point of sale options. 

Tools like PayPal, square, and stripe are good options in processing payments for most businesses. 

Conclusion

As you can see you can transform your brick and mortar business to a remote set up in a matter of a few days.  

You will need to invest in some technology but nothing earth-shattering in terms of cost. You will need to put some emphasis on productivity and team building just as what you are currently doing.

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